by Dora Hiers
In September 2012, I resolved to evolve from pantser to plotter. For those of you unfamiliar with the terms:
- A pantser sits down in front of their laptop and starts typing, with only a few rough ideas for either characters or story floating around in their head.
- A plotter uses an outline and finds their rhythm by organizing their thoughts prior to any actual writing.
But as I celebrated with writer friends over their multi-book contracts, I knew that I'd never be able to accomplish this if I couldn't learn to plot. A key component of the proposal is the synopsis. No synopsis=No proposal.
I started my transition by writing two proposals encompassing five books total, which for me, meant writing books from a synopsis instead of the reverse. I’m thrilled to report that I just sent the last completed book to my editor. Woo-hoo!
Want to know how I transitioned from pantser to plotter? I'll share my secrets. :-)
Pray. No explanation necessary.
Characters. I'm a visual person. I need pictures, so I started by finding my hero/heroine online and getting to know them. Then, I asked my character (whichever one you connect with first) these questions.
- What do you want? (Goal)
- Why do you want it? (Motivation)
- Why can't you have it? (Conflict)
Write a few pages. Writing backstory helped me flesh out the characters more, so that I could go back and fill in some of the blanks. Just write a bit and let words flow. It's OK. You’ll delete them. The goal is for the story to reveal itself. You may need to tweak the premise after doing this.
Picture the story sequence in your head. Do what it takes to find your zone. Close your eyes. Throw in a CD. Let your dog walk you around the park. Record the chapter number, the date, point-of-view, and what you expect to happen in that chapter/scene. If you know how you want the book to end, you can skip down and work backward.
Implement a schedule. Map out a timeline for the completion of your books. Not only will you be amazed at your progress, but you can plop that completion date right into your proposal.
It’s your turn.
- If you're a pantser, how do you write proposals?
- Do you ever see yourself evolving into a plotter? Why or why not?
Journey’s Embrace blurb:After an injury forces Deputy U.S. Marshal Sage Michaelson off duty, he heads to his hometown with two things on his mind: recuperating and reevaluating, but Sage can’t refuse his best friend’s plea to keep a protective eye on his little sister after someone ransacks her house. But Delaney’s not so little anymore—and definitely not the young “Dane” Sage remembers.
Flight Medic Delaney Hunt has loved Sage forever. But, he’s all about control and order while she embraces life and takes risks. As much as the idea appeals to her, she doesn’t need Sage looking over her shoulder. But when things go wrong and she finds herself hanging by her fingertips, who does she call to rescue her?
Will Delaney ever be the woman Sage wants by his side? Can Sage learn to live by grace, recognizing that God is in control? Can they overcome their fears to embrace life together?